More and more people suffer from lower back pain. Usually, this is a result stemming from the irritation of your sciatic nerve. But this type of pain can also spread down to your limbs and feet. This pain can have an effect on one’s daily routine, and many have been looking for ways to naturally get rid of it. Well, look no further.
The nerve we mentioned, sciatic, lies deep in one’s buttock. And due to its closeness to the piriformis muscle, if there is any swelling or constriction in this specific muscle, the consequence can be nerve pain and irritation.
This muscle joins the top of your femur to your spine. It plays a vital role in the outwards movements of your upper leg, foot, and hip. And the nerve in question passes beneath this muscle. Having explained this, in some cases, it may occur that the nerve passes through the muscle, and this can lead to so-called ‘sciatica symptoms’, which are caused by the piriformis syndrome.
This leaves the individual with hip and lower back pain that doesn’t seem to go away on its own. This, in turn, leads to limited movement and poor balance. Luckily there are exercises one can do to fix this, but it is always advisable to consult with your physician as there may be other, underlying causes for the pain you feel.
Another word of advice when doing these piriformis stretches is to always stay within your own personal limits of comfort. Remember, don’t push it as it might lead to further complications. In this specific case, pain (even a little amount) is not gain.
Make sure to also warm up before stretches. It can be anything from going up and down the stairs to taking a walk. Do these light warm up exercises for a few minutes. After you’re done with them, you can start with the stretches numbered below.
1. Supine Piriformis Stretch Lie down.
- Your knees should be bent upwards.
- Cross the affected leg over your other leg. Do this by simply bending it towards your chest.
- Proceed by grabbing the knee using one hand and your ankle using the other. Now just slowly pull towards your shoulder. Do this until you feel a stretching sensation in the buttock glutes.
- Hold this position for about 30-60 seconds and then release.
We believe this video will help clear up any confusion and show you the right way to do it:
2. Standing Piriformis Stretch
- If you have trouble balancing, stand with your back against a wall, and walk your feet forward 24 inches. Position your knees over your ankles, then lower your hips 45 degrees toward the floor.
- Lift your right foot off the ground and place the outside of your right ankle on your left knee.
- Lean forward and lower your chest toward your knees while keeping your back straight. 4. Stop when you feel the glute stretch. 5. Hold for 30-60 seconds, then switch legs and do the same.
3. Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch
- Lie on your back and bend the right knee.
- Use the left hand to pull the knee over to the left side. Keep your back on the ground, and as you do so, you should feel the stretch in the hip and buttocks.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds, and repeat on the other side.
4. Long Adductor (Groin) Stretch
- Sitting on the floor, stretch your legs straight out, as far apart as you can.
- Tilt your upper body slightly forward at the hips and place your hands next to each other on the floor.
- Lean forward and drop your elbows to the floor if you can. You will feel the pelvis stretching.
- Hold for 10-20 seconds, and release.
5. Short Adductor (Inner Thigh) Stretch
- For this exercise, sit on the floor and put the soles of your feet together.
- Use your elbows to apply downward pressure to your knees to increase the stretch.
- You should feel the stretch on the inner thighs. For a deeper stretch, bend your upper torso forward with a straight back.
- Hold for 30 seconds, release, and flutter your legs in the same position for 30 seconds.
6. Side Lying Clam Exercise
- Lay on your side with the hip that needs help on top.
- Bend your knees and position them forward so that your feet are in line with your spine.
- Make sure your top hip is directly on top of the other and your back is straight.
- Keeping your ankles together, raise the top knee away from the bottom one. Do not move your back or tilt your pelvis while doing so, otherwise the movement is not coming from your hip.
- Slowly return the knee to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.
8. Supine Piriformis Side Stretch
- Lie on the floor with the legs flat, and raise the affected leg by placing that foot on the floor outside the opposite knee.
- Pull the knee of the bent leg directly across the midline of the body using the opposite hand or towel until a stretch is felt. Do not force anything and be gentle.
- Hold the piriformis stretch for 30 seconds, then return to starting position and switch legs.
- Aim for a total of 3 repetitions.
9. Buttocks Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle
- Laying with your stomach on the ground, place the affected foot across and underneath the trunk of the body so that the affected knee is on the outside.
- Extend the non-affected leg straight back behind the body and keep the pelvis straight.
- Keeping the affected leg in place, move your hips back toward the floor and lean forward on the forearms until a deep stretch it felt.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and then slowly return to starting position. Aim for a total of 3 stretches.
10. Seated Stretch
- In seated position, cross your right leg over your left knee.
- Bend slightly forward, making sure to keep your back straight.
- Hold for 3-60 seconds and repeat on the other side.